Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Mayor Houston issues proclamation declaring Tuesday, December 3, 2013 as a community-wide day of giving

On Monday, December 2, 2013, United Way of Central Illinois and education, business and community leaders gathered at the early learning centerto call upon community members in Sangamon County to support local charitable organizations, including those focused on early childhood education, on Giving Tuesday.  At the press conference, Mayor J. Michael Houston issued a mayoral proclamation designating Tuesday, December 3, 2013,as a community-wide day of giving on #GivingTuesday, the national day of giving.
Joining Mayor Houston in the call-to-action were members of the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce, Springfield Public Schools, United Way of Central Illinois, and Community Child Care Connection.

#GivingTuesday is a first of its kind effort bringing together charities, families, businesses and individuals to transform how people think about, talk about and participate in the giving season. Coinciding with the Thanksgiving Holiday and the kickoff of the holiday shopping season, #GivingTuesday inspires people to take collaborative action to improve their local communities and give back to the local charities and causes they support.

At the press conference, United Way, in partnership with Community Child Care Connection and a host of local preschools, announced the kick off of their "Gift of Reading" campaign.  The campaign will run throughout the month of December and will raise funds to support Dolly Parton's Imagination Library.

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is an early childhood literacy program providing one free, age-appropriate book, each month, to children under the age of 5 in Sangamon County.  This year alone, the program will provide more than 31,000 free, new age-appropriate books to more than 3,800 children who have enrolled in the program.

The program is designed to promote a love of reading among children at an early age, to better prepare children to enter kindergarten, and to bring families closer together.

Launched through a donation from Scheels and supported through a renewable grant from a national corporation, the program is facing an uncertain future after the national corporation changed the focus area of its foundation giving.  The program, which is not currently funded through United Way’s Annual Campaign, has three months of funding based upon current enrollment.  United Way and CCCC are exploring alternatives to extend the program beyond three months to identify long term funding options.

The “Gift of Reading” campaign offers supporters of the program the opportunity to provide a year’s worth of books to a child in our community with a $25 gift.  In addition, local businesses have the opportunity to sponsor the program through a variety of sponsorship options.  100% of each gift to the program goes directly to the cost of the literacy program.

The “Gift of Reading” campaign will run during the month of December with United Way, Community Child Care Connection and area preschools raising funds.

To give the Gift of Reading,  please call 726-7000 or visit

View the press conference in its entirety below, courtesy of the City of Springfield.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Give the Gift of Reading on #GivingTuesday

A small investment in our children today will pay a lifetime of dividends!

United Way of Central Illinois’ goal this holiday season is to help children across Sangamon County share the joy of reading at home! A small investment will have a tremendous impact on families and futures, and with your gift, you will be helping parents and children begin a lifelong journey of learning together.

A charitable gift of $10, $25 or more will help United Way of Central Illinois:
  • Improve community literacy, creating stronger families, a stronger economy, and providing a lifetime of opportunity for our children
  • Ensure our community’s children are prepared to learn and succeed
How you can help:

We are raising money for Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, which sends free books to kids in Sangamon County. One $25 gift provides a full year of books (12 total) for one child. The program is open to all children, under the age of 5, who live in Sangamon County, and it is completely free to families -- they just have to sign up!

Your #GivingTuesday gift at work:
  • A $10 charitable gift will provide 5 monthly books to child in Sangamon County.
  • A $25 charitable gift will provide a full year’s worth of books to child in Sangamon County.
  • A $125 charitable gift will provide a child born today with a free monthly, age-appropriate book until their 5th birthday.

This Holiday Season and #GivingTuesday, give the gift of reading to a child in our community.

Click to learn more and give the Gift of Reading on #GivingTuesday